Slepian Smith, PLLC

When suffering from severe anxiety, support can be critical

This month, readers of this blog might start hearing more about people with mental health disorders, as May is Mental Health Awareness Month across the U.S.

Raising awareness is crucial, because although millions of people suffer from mental illnesses, most do not receive treatment. For instance, as noted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 44 million people in the country struggle with an anxiety disorder. Only 33 percent receive treatment.

What prevents people from getting treatment?

Unfortunately, mental health conditions like anxiety carry a stigma. People might also normalize excessive anxiety or minimize its impact on a person's life. For these and other reasons, sufferers may not feel comfortable seeking out treatment.

How serious is anxiety?

People who struggle with serious anxiety disorders experience a range of troubling symptoms, both physical and mental. Some people suffer panic attacks and go through periods where they feel they cannot breathe or control racing thoughts; others experience intense fear about being in public spaces or interacting in social situations.

These anxiety disorders can be frightening and disabling. Without treatment, they can make it all but impossible for a person to leave his or her house, engage in relationships or control excessive worrying.

The importance of getting help

Treatment and support are crucial. Unfortunately, too many people do not get the care they need, either because they don't think it will help or they don't know where to start.

One goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to increase the visibility of these types of conditions and help people understand where they can go and what they can do to get the treatment they need.

One important resource to consider is legal assistance in seeking financial benefits if a mental health disorder is so disabling that it prevents you or a loved one from working for at least a year. Being unable to work compounded with the loss of income and benefits can only make conditions like anxiety disorders worse. Seeking guidance to pursue financial relief for which you may qualify can allow you to stay focused on treating a serious mental condition.

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